Mentoring Stories - Ayse Asli Basak

29 Mar 2021 Institute News

In the second in our series of Mentoring Stories, Ayse shares her experiences with mentoring throughout her career

When I first started my sea career on board a 57,000 DWT bulk carrier ship as a Cadet 13 years ago, I was not even aware that I needed someone to lead me as a newcomer to the maritime industry and on board job. I realize now after 13 years that my first Mentors were The Chief Officer and Master during my on board period. Even if I was the only one woman on board, their Mentorship to me provided a more equal working environment between my colleagues. I remember that Capt. Bahattin Yanik who is my first Master always told me during the hard times on board that “You have to stand on your feet.”. Through my journey, I have learned how this advice led me to pass tough times in my career!

After my on board career and choosing a shore based field as a Port Captain, I received many questions from young maritime students, especially from female seafarers who have just started their careers. In 2019, we set up SheFarers Platform in Turkey with Capt. Hulya Guler, where we voluntarily mentor young maritime students. We started to ask our friends from maritime college who work on board as Officer, Engineer and Master if they have time to mentor a maritime student or not, and I am so proud that they said 100% YES to it! Now we are voluntarily giving mentorship to 75 maritime students in Turkey with also Mentors coming from global maritime industry and I am so happy to see the courage and happy faces of the students after their brain-storming with Mentors!

As a Port Captain working for ship-shore operations of a US based company and as a social entrepreneur of SheFarers, I can say that mentorship is a never ending process! Sometimes we learn from our peers, sometimes from managers and sub-colleagues. I am still being mentored by amazing maritime leaders in Turkey; Prof. Burcu Ozsoy and Mrs. Yildiz Bozkurt on what we are doing for SheFarers start-up to grow up with social impact. In the managerial side, I am so happy to share my ideas and goals with my Mentor Mrs. Aysegul Ildeniz who is the Board Member of Zorlu Group and works for silicon valley projects! I just would like to summarize my mentorship outcome: “How could I grow up and survive without my Mentor?!”. We absolutely need them!

I am so grateful and appreciated to all my amazing Mentors who became part of my career journey. Thus, I am ready here to give my mentorship to young maritime students in SheFarers to create a more aware maritime working environment for a sustainable future.


Ayse Asli Basak
Port Captain, Mid-Ship Group LLC
Co-Founder, SheFarers Platform

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